THE AESTHETICS AND BENEFITS OF TILE AND STONE FLOORING
Tile and stone conjure up images of buildings and sculptures that have withstood the test of time. Consider the Parthenon, the Forum, Michelangelo’s David, Versailles, just to name a few. Not only are these structures durable and timeless, but their natural beauty is beyond compare. When looking to make the ultimate statement in your own castle, the use of tile and stone is the natural choice.
The tile and stone category offers endless options which enable you to create a room that shouts, this is my style and this is my home. You can choose from products that include ceramic tile, porcelain, glass, and a variety of natural stones including travertine, granite and marble. Each product has distinctive characteristics and looks, and varies widely in performance, cost and look. Consult your True Source Flooring expert about the look you are trying to create and they will help you to design a solution that makes a statement that is all you.
Be sure to ask about the total cost of ownership. The cost of the tile or stone is only one component of the total cost. Installation and maintenance cost can vary significantly and you should be aware of them before making your purchase. Tile is generally more cost effective than stone and easier to maintain.
Limitless best describes the design options available to you. You will be delighted with the choices in shape, size, and color, and potential combinations you can create. Tile and stone will let you create your own work of art that is a distinct reflection of you.
TILE AND STONE PERFORMANCE
Tile and stone will outlast and outperform most other flooring and wall applications. Individual product performance will vary due to its density, sealant or glaze and how porous it is.
Ceramic tile and porcelain usually have a rating of 1 to 5 for their overall durability and abrasion resistance. Five being the most durable. Check the label to see the rating.
Stone varies greatly in its density which affects its durability. Granite and marble are denser than most other stones, so they will perform better. It is similar to the differences in the hardness of woods. Oak is harder than pine. Generally, stone needs to be sealed for most applications.
Consult with your True Source Flooring expert to see which product best suits the combination of your design needs, performance needs, and what your pocketbook will bear.
TILE AND STONE CONSTRUCTION
There are many types of tile and stone depending on your needs. There are Glazed Ceramic Tile, Porcelain Tile, Glass Tile, Granite and Marble.
Glazed ceramic tile has a body of natural earth materials such as clay and have two layers; the body which consists of natural material and the top layer which is the glaze. The tiles are molded in forms and then fired at high temperature in ovens. The tiles, when finished, are very durable and water resistant. Glazed ceramic tiles are available in many different sizes and shapes and gloss levels. They can be installed indoors on floors, back splashes and in showers.
Porcelain tile is the hardest and most dense tile that is available today they are a solid body tile which means the color is all the way through the tile. Porcelain tile is fired at much higher temperatures and under extreme pressure, with thru body color if chipped you will not see the natural material that you would with glazed ceramic. Porcelain tile can be used in many more applications than glazed ceramic can such as indoor, outdoor, floors, walls, back splashes, showers and heavy commercial installations. They also come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors to accent any home décor.
Glass tile is available in many different shapes, sizes and colors, and can range from opaque to opalescent and in many different textures. Glass tiles are an excellent way to accent many installations such as back splashes, showers and floors. They also come in many different mosaic configurations for use on wall and floors.
Granite is an all-natural stone which is very hard and comes in many sizes and shapes. Granite has many applications in the home for counter tops, floors and walls. Granite also is a rectified tile which means you can adjust the grout width from 1/4 of an inch to 1/16 of an inch to give a more solid look to the installation.
Marble flooring is also a natural stone that is very durable and has many of the same uses in the home as granite.
TILE AND STONE CARE
Taking care of your natural stone does not need to be difficult. There are a few do’s and don’ts to know but basically you just need to use a cleaner especially designed for natural stone. Natural stone is very porous so the best way to prevent stains is to treat the surface with a protective sealer at the time of installation.
- Seal your grout after your floor or wall has had sufficient time to cure. The process should be repeated annually. This is critical to prevent moisture from seeping under the product. Also, it will help to preserve the color of your grout.
- Natural stone needs to be sealed to manufacturer specifications.
- Grout may stain or discolor over time. Follow the manufacturer instructions for stain removal. Pay particular care to the type of products recommended for cleaning.
- Quickly wipe up spills or they may stain your grout and some porous stones.
- Tile and stone require routine maintenance to retained the beauty and preserve their look. Sweep or use a vacuum (without a beater bar) to pick up dirt and grime. Dust and damp mop on a regular basis. Wipe off residue to avoid leaving a film. Avoid excess water.
- Place floor protectors under your furniture.
When using a cleaner on natural stone only use a neutral pH cleaner — you never want to use anything acidic on natural stone surfaces as they can ruin the surface of the stone. Never use cleaners containing acids, scouring powder, abrasive bathroom or soft kitchen cleaners, vinegar or lemon juice.